The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys have plans to submit a bid to enter the inaugural Queensland Rugby League women’s competition in 2020.
The club’s aspiration is to play under the Cowboys brand whilst working alongside and incorporating its three feeder teams – the Mackay Cutters, Townsville Blackhawks and Northern Pride.
The competition is expected to be made up of up to eight teams and will run for between seven to 10 weeks, commencing at the same time as the Queensland Cup.
The news comes following the launch of the Cowboys’ Women’s Academy in September, with the eventual aspiration of fielding a team in the NRLW competition.
“A team in the QRL’s women’s competition would be another step forward in providing legitimate pathways for talented footballers in North Queensland,” Cowboys CEO Jeff Reibel said.
“To be able to align with our three feeder clubs gives us a great opportunity to push towards our strategy of entering a team in the NRLW.
“We believe that with a Women’s Academy and a team in this new competition, we can really grow grassroots football in North Queensland.”
Cowboys elite pathways coach Ben Jeffries believes a North Queensland based team would only help grow the sport in the region.
“This would now give a direct pathway towards an NRLW franchise,” said Jeffries.
“The players wouldn’t have to move from North Queensland if they don’t want to anymore.
“It is going to create even more interest in the local competitions now that they can see a really clear pathway.”